Constructed Aspectual Reality

Constructivist Foundations 3 (1):13-13 (2007)


Open peer commentary on the target article “Arguments Opposing the Radicalism of Radical Constructivism” by Gernot Saalmann. First paragraph: Gernot Saalmann presents in his paper an exposition of radical constructivism that throws together such diverse thinkers as von Glasersfeld, Maturana, Varela and Luhmann. He presents their views as something of a unified front, although actually only Glasersfeld consistently represents radical constructivism. In his exhibition and critique of radical constructivism Saalmann fluctuates between ontological, epistemological and neurophysiological arguments that have often little bearing on the original ideas of radical constructivism. For example, his discussion on sensory coding (§16) is hardly relevant to the basic tenets of radical constructivism. “Sensory coding” entails that there is information in the environment that can be transmitted to the organism through senses; a model denied by radical constructivism (see e.g. Glasersfeld 1995a, pp. 115–116).

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Timo Jarvilehto
University of Helsinki (PhD)

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